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Scientism: The New Orthodoxy is a comprehensive philosophical overview of the question of scientism, discussing the role and place of science in the humanities, religion, and the social sciences. Clarifying and defining the key terms in play in discussions of scientism, this collection identifies the dimensions that differentiate science from scientism. Leading scholars appraise the means available to science, covering the impact of the neurosciences and the new challenges it presents for the law and the self. Illustrating the effect of scientism on the social sciences, and the humanities, Scientism: the New Orthodoxy addresses what science is and what it is not. This provocative collection is an important contribution to the social sciences and the humanities in the 21st century. Contributors include: Peter Hacker, Bastiaan van Fraassen, Daniel N. Robinson, Kenneth Schaffner, Roger Scruton, James K.A. Smith, Richard Swinburne, Lawrence Principe and Richard N. Williams.
Sweeping in scope, penetrating in analysis, and generously illustrated with examples from the history of science, this new and original approach to familiar questions about scientific evidence and method tackles vital questions about science and its place in society. Avoiding the twin pitfalls of scientism and cynicism, noted philosopher Susan Haack argues that, fallible and flawed as they are, the natural sciences have been among the most successful of human enterprises-valuable not only for the vast, interlocking body of knowledge they have discovered, and not only for the technological advances that have improved our lives, but as a manifestation of the human talent for inquiry at its imperfect but sometimes remarkable best. This wide-ranging, trenchant, and illuminating book explores the complexities of scientific evidence, and the multifarious ways in which the sciences have refined and amplified the methods of everyday empirical inquiry; articulates the ways in which the social sciences are like the natural sciences, and the ways in which they are different; disentangles the confusions of radical rhetoricians and cynical sociologists of science; exposes the evasions of apologists for religious resistance to scientific advances; weighs the benefits and the dangers of technology; tracks the efforts of the legal system to make the best use of scientific testimony; and tackles predictions of the eventual culmination, or annihilation, of the scientific enterprise. Writing with verve and wry humor, in a witty, direct, and accessible style, Haack takes readers beyond the "Science Wars" to a balanced understanding of the value, and the limitations, of the scientific enterprise.
"Revised edition of a book entitled The Wisdom of Ancient Cosmology published a decade ago"--Galley preface.
"This work explores the complex relationship between science and politics. More specifically, it focuses on the problem of scientism. Scientism is a deformation of science, which unnecessarily restricts the scope of scientific inquiry by placing a dogmatic faith in the method of the natural sciences. Its adherents call for nothing less than a complete transformation of society. Science becomes the idol that can magically cure the perpetual maladies of modern society and of human nature itself. Whitney demonstrates that scientism is intellectually impoverishing and politically dangerous. Whitney surveys the development of scientism from early modernity to the present day, beginning with Francis Bacon, arguing that Bacon stands as the founder, not only of the experimental method, but also of scientism. This is most evident in his presentation of a scientific utopia in New Atlantis. After briefly noting the impact of Isaac Newton and the French Encylopedists, Whitney then moves on to the other great representative figure of scientism: Auguste Comte, who demonstrates the religious fervor that accompanies the scientistic attitude. Continuing on the path set forth by Bacon, Comte argues for a reorganization of society based on the precepts of positive science. The solution to scientism, Whitney advances, lies in a new (or revised) science of politics; the foundation of which is based on the Classical sources that were either discredited or banned outright by the proposals of Bacon and Comte. He concludes the work with contemporary examples of scientism, including the climate change debates, genetic engineering, and the New Atheism movement"--
The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. InMind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.
Shortlisted for the Templeton Foundation Prize for Outstanding Books in Theology and Natural Sciences John Brooke and Geoffrey Cantor discuss exciting developments in the sciences, whether in Big Bang cosmology, chaos theory or genetic engineering, in relation to moral and spiritual questions. Contemporary discussion can, however, be blind if it ignores previous forms of engagement between science and religion. In their Gifford Lectures the authors argue that not one but several historical approaches are required to achieve critical perspective and balanced understanding. Accordingly, each chapter demonstrates the value of a particular historical method. Ranging from alchemy to new-age philosophies, from the Galileo affair to the Darwinian controversies, this is an indispensable and highly accessible book for all interested in science and religion.
The importance of science and technology and future of education and research are just some of the subjects discussed here.

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